Looking at it one way, you could say, "Anything goes. Because of God's immense generosity and grace, we don't have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster." But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. -1 Corinthians 10:22-24 (MSG)
Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom. -Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NLT)
There have been many times in the last year when I've done exactly what the first part of these verses says: Done enough to get by. I'm sure we've all been there. We have busy, crazy days, too many people asking too much from us, and we coast. We do the bare minimum to make people happy.
For me, it's doing just enough laundry that everyone has underwear and socks. Or doing the dishes just before Shaun gets home so we have forks for dinner (seriously, where do they go?? We never have enough forks around here!). You know, it's even smiling and waving at the neighbors and then quickly getting back inside before I get detained outside.
But why have I been like this? If I'm honest, it's because I see all of these things as inconveniences and interruptions to my day rather the very real opportunities that they are. When I do ALL of the laundry, including folding it and putting it away-because let's face it, having all the laundry clean is absolutely useless if you're just digging through all of it searching for what you need!-anyway, when I do ALL of the laundry, that is an opportunity for me to show God that I value the job he has graced me with and that I can do it well. It is my opportunity to show him that I CAN handle more should he choose to bless us again in any way.
I know, I know, I'm getting all of that from doing laundry? But it's not just about doing the laundry. It's about doing whatever job God has placed in your path with a happy heart. If I do all of the laundry, but do it with a negative attitude and an irritated soul, then I'm not really doing it the way I should. And this can be applied to anything we do!
I've mentioned before that I'm studying the book of Ruth for my Bible Study. Well, yesterday's reading included Ruth 2:4-7. I'll put it here so you don't have to hunt:
While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. “The LORD be with you!” he said. “The LORD bless you!” the harvesters replied. 5 Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?” 6 And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. 7 She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes’ rest in the shelter.”
So, notice that when the foreman describes Ruth, he adds more information than Boaz asked for? He adds that she is a hard worker! For him to add it must mean that she went above and beyond in all she was doing that day. He HAD to have been impressed with her! Her hard work got her noticed. And remember, Ruth was not only a Moabitess (totally not something you wanted to be in Israel at the time when God specifically told his people to steer clear of them!) but she was also a widow with no sons. She was pretty much as low on the social totem pole as you could get. Sad, but true.
I'm also bringing these verses to your attention because I want you to notice that it doesn't say anything about her doing all that hard work with a bad attitude. Ruth was grateful to have the work to do. She sought it out on her own! She purposely and happily followed behind the harvesters to gather dinner for her small family (which included her MIL Naomi and herself). I have to say that if that were me, I wouldn't be nearly so glad to do it and I would've taken way more breaks! And if I'm being completely honest here, I'd be complaining to whoever would listen DURING the break!
So here's my challenge for you and me today: Let's do our best to do whatever work God has given us with a happy heart and to the best of our abilities! Let's prove to God that he made the right choice in trusting us with what we've been given!